Cincinnati water rates might increase 7.5 percent - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Cincinnati water rates might increase 7.5 percent

Greater Cincinnati Water Works. File photo Greater Cincinnati Water Works. File photo
Cincinnati Vice Mayor David Mann. File photo Cincinnati Vice Mayor David Mann. File photo

Soon it may cost more to pay for water if you live in the Queen City.
Greater Cincinnati Water Works proposed a rate increase of 7.5 percent. The agency cites capital needs and the fact that customers are using less water.

Cincinnati Water Works also says they need to address some of their aging infrastructure needs, and raising the rate is the most viable option.

"It's just the rate of the increase that grabs people's attention," said Vice Mayor David Mann.
A 7.5 percent rate increase to shower, do dishes, and all other things H20. That means roughly an additional $16 a year for the average Cincinnati household and some say that's far too steep.
"I think 7.5 percent is too much in any one year and I won't support that," said Mann.
Mann said it's important for the agency to keep its AAA bond rating but also important to consider the citizens. So he believes some sort of compromise of 4 percent is fair.
"You look at the last four or five years, it's gone up a tremendous percentage. It's up to us to manage the system," he said.
CouncilmanKevin Flynn isn't sure what the right answer is but he knows that the capital needs of the water department are a priority.
"We've seen the deficit in the water department go up and up and up. I'm worried that unless some changes are made we're not going to be able to sustain without significant increases," he said.
Flynn still has plenty of questions. Cincinnati Water Works serves not only Cincinnati but parts of Northern Kentucky, Butler, Warren and Clermont counties. But he thinks there's a chance for the city to better market their water to even more customers including those in southern Indiana.
"Can we provide it cheaper than they can produce it themselves and if we can, they'd be silly not to be buying it from us so the more that we can add the less that everyone else total will have to pay," said Flynn.
Even though you may be paying more for your water, you're most likely using less because of advanced technology in toilets and faucets, thus the average bill continues to drop.
Cincinnati Water Works tells FOX19 many agencies across the nation are dealing with the same exact problem.
City council plans to vote on the proposed rate increase on Wednesday but there's a possibility they could table the decision.

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